Why LINE in Japan is Still Winning

The Chatting App Holds Great Potential for Businesses


For those who haven't lived in Japan before, you may not have heard of the app. LINE is a communication app used by most of the population, with features such as chatting, calling, stamps, coupons and more.


As mentioned in our article on on Japan Social Media Best Practices LINE has become a necessity in the lives of the Japanese people, having 84 million (around 70% of the population) monthly active users by the 2nd quarter of this year (Statistica). Where there's many users, there's usually a great opportunity, and it is important to implement marketing strategies that use LINE in order to generate new leads, methods of contact, and more.


Our digital agency recommends that If you're a business and you'd like to use LINE as part of your marketing plan, you need to download a different app called "LINE Official Account". This allows you to create a LINE business account, which you could use to connect with followers, create ads, and more! Be sure to prepare this on your first step when implementing this platform.


How to Use LINE?

There are multiple ways in which LINE could be used as a marketing platform for a business, but the main ones would be the following:


1. Sharing Information, Updates, and News

The following is a graph showing the data where participants were asked where they collect information of businesses. As you can see, LINE has the top share of the bunch, boasting a 57.7% rate.


Not to mention, you can also share coupons and campaigns to your followers, allowing for many opportunities to convert your potential leads to actual customers.


2. Increase Customer Service Opportunities

As mentioned, LINE is a communication tool, hence this is the most common reason why firms use this platform. Compared with other platforms, as well as contact forms on websites, it is far more accessible for users to send a message on LINE. With the use of stamps, it allows you to be a lot more closer with your followers, and helps in building brand engagement, especially if you have your own unique stamps!


3. Give-Aways and Rewards

LINE allows you to create reward cards for your followers, like the ones you tend to see in hair salons. There are many ways where ANY type of business could use this feature to build further loyalty with their existing customers, and even potentially prompt to increase the frequency of your product usage per consumer.


4. LINE Advertisements

The platform also has features where you could share your own advertisements, and there are a number of types that you could choose from:

  • Smart Channel

  • News

  • Manga

  • Time-line

  • Blog

  • Point

The main difference between these, is the location where the ad will be shown. As you know, LINE offers many different services for users, such as reading comics, shopping, news, timelines, blogs, etc. You can set ads for each different platform that matches your business, as well as optimize targeting settings to better fit your audience.


They've also recently begun a new feature called "cross-targeting", which helps to show your ads to the people that are most interested, by using data that they have collected through the user's interactions with other LINE services (such as LINE official accounts).


By utilizing this feature, you could do the following:


  • Expand your reach by targeting only followers who haven't opened your message


  • Show ads to the highest potential buyer (in the case where your LINE business account and EC website is linked)


  • Get new followers by analyzing your existing user base and showing the ads to similar accounts.


How Brands Use LINE?

The most common brands that use LINE as part of their marketing strategy are restaurants, followed by shopping retailers. It is not a surprise, as those types of firms are the ones that find a big value in loyal customers, considering the massive number of competitors. They send exclusive coupons to the followers, persuading them to return to their store.


A great example of this would be the karaoke shops like "BigEcho", where they send numerous coupons throughout the month, and also use this fact to gain new followers when engaging new leads.


The following pie-chart shows a more in-depth data regarding the usage portion by different industries:



LINE is a platform that has one of the most number of services, and it is not a surprise that it has become an application that is necessary to live comfortably in Japan. However, many businesses have still not benefited from this lucrative platform, as they do not realize the opportunity that lies in it. Don't make the same mistake, and make today your first day in beginning a new marketing strategy!


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